The True Measure of Our Thanksgiving

I love celebrating Thanksgiving. I appreciate the relaxed pace of the day. I’m grateful that it’s free of all the trappings that make Christmas such an event.

Thanksgiving is a time of pleasant reminiscences, favorite signature dishes, and heartfelt gratitude.

Considering all that our forefathers endured leading up to their first Thanksgiving celebration also refreshes my perspective and reminds me how truly fortunate I am.

In light of the upcoming holiday, my kids and I discussed Colossians 3:15 & 17 in school this week.

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Paul encouraged the Colossians to allow God’s peace to “arbitrate” in their lives, according to the Greek word used for rule. That lifestyle was God’s calling for them, as it is for us. And a peaceful heart is naturally more thankful than a heart that is angry or bitter.

Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. – Matthew 12:34b

I’ve certainly found that to be true! When I ask God to replace my stress, worry, or self-doubt with His peace, my perspective changes. All that was troubling me becomes less significant, and my many blessings come to the forefront of my mind.

I stop complaining and start giving thanks. And then, as Colossians 3:17 expresses, my actions follow the altered attitude of my heart. I am more willing to work harder and serve others, more willing to praise God and share my blessings.

How much more content I would be if I practiced these principles daily!

My kids and I agreed: it’s a lot easier to do one’s work well when one is grateful for the opportunity to do it. They have a job cleaning buses for a local bus tour company. It’s not the easiest job they could have, but they have a wonderful Christian boss. The tour company is close to home and offers regular hours for both my son and daughter. It has allowed them to start saving for a car and has taught them many practical life lessons. (You can read my daughter’s post about their job here.)

One of my jobs is to home school my kids the best way I know how. It’s also not an easy job, as anyone knows who has ever taught their children at home. But when I focus on how rewarding it has been, I am thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to be both mother and teacher to my kids.

W. T. Purkiser, an American preacher, scholar, and author, shared these wise words about a genuine attitude of gratitude.

Now what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.

I pray that the abundance of my generosity to others, and my praise to God, will reflect the depth of my gratitude.

How do you use your blessings? Who or what inspires an attitude of peace and gratitude in your heart? How will you celebrate Thanksgiving this year? I look forward to your comments.

11 thoughts on “The True Measure of Our Thanksgiving”

  1. “An attitude of peace and gratitude,” you wrote. More and more I am finding myself akin to Peter, once he hopped out of the boat and walked on the waves toward his Master. As long as he kept focused, he did fine. Then he looked around.
    The storms that sunk Peter are always around us; one of many names they go by is Covid-19. We can all get caught up and damaged by storms. But a 2020 blessing for me has been a reduced workload centered on the room in which I sit. It has given me the chance to enjoy quieter moments I may not have noticed under normal parish conditions and pace. Working from home enabled me to look around and experience wondrous things (that enchanting Easter rain; new spring leaves on the now-bare oak . . .)!
    I hope I can use my blessing to encourage others just to exhale, look around, and see God at work in the world. We can embrace the disruptive turbulence–there’s plenty– or we can embrace the quiet, and hear the still, small voice that’s always been there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “When I ask God to replace my stress, worry, or self-doubt with His peace, my perspective changes. All that was troubling me becomes less significant, and my many blessings come to the forefront of my mind.” I love this part. I’m going to try this! Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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